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Author Topic: IC-703 Discontinued...  (Read 2478 times)
K0ABE
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Posts: 69




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« on: July 15, 2004, 01:37:43 AM »

Hi

I was at the HRO in Denver last week and the salesman said that ICOM was discontiuing the IC-703.  It seems the 703 isn't selling well.

73 Mike KØABE
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2004, 09:33:02 PM »

I am not at all surprised.  I've heard from a number of dealers that the FT-817ND continues to sell very well indeed and that they can't sell the IC-703.  It's bigger, it's not portable (as in no internal batteries), no 2m/70cm, and that early run of bad driver ICs condemned it to a reputation for being unreliable.  By contrast the FT-817 and FT-817ND have been around for four years now and are considered very reliable.

Icom really missed the boat with the IC-703 and IC-703+.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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VK3DMN
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 10:05:41 AM »

I know the IC-703 isn't very popular, and I know it has a reputation for bad finals, and I know it has less features.

I can understand why the 817 is more popular, but more reliable?  I keep hearing about and reading about finals failures with those as well... so why has the 817 got a reputation for reliability?
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K5LXP
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Posts: 4448


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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2004, 11:31:49 AM »

The 703 is *not* being discontinued, it's the 703 version that didn't include 6M that's being dropped.  They're just pruning the product lineup to just the more popular model.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2004, 04:12:00 PM »

VK3DMN:  Tens of thousands of FT-817s have been sold.   I think it's passed the 100,000 point worldwide in sales a whiel back.  There just are more of them out there.  If 1/10 of 1% fail that would, numerically speaking, be the same number of failures as something like 5-10% of Icom's production runs of the IC-703.  The FT-817 reflector on Yahoo! has more members than the total production of the IC-703 to date.

Also, look at the causes of blown finals reported on the FT-817 reflector.  Some people noted that the finals in the FT-817 are rated for 20W so they turned the rigs up to 10W and ran VHF FM for a while and... poof!  A couple of people got them back from Yaesu repair with a polite note saying "Please don't modify...".

Are there legitimate failures?  Of course there are.  Overall, is the FT-817 or the newer FT-817ND reliable for 99% and more of owners?  In a word, yes.

FWIW, the FT-817 is close to being the second most successful ham rig ever if it isn't there already.  The most successful, the Yaesu FT-101 series, sold over 300,000 units.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2004, 04:13:08 PM »

Mark:  Thanks for the update and correction.  I would never have considered one without 6m either.  FWIW, my understanding is that Icom have fixed the driver problems on recent production runs.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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KI8DJ
Member

Posts: 188




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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2004, 11:00:40 PM »

I own both radios and the 703 is waaaay better! I hope the final stays intact. The dsp and tuner in the 703 outway the extra bands the 817 has. Also the display is much better and the buttons and controls on the 817 are just too small.
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EXPRO
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2004, 06:28:04 PM »

Well I have owned both radios and feel the 703 is a real piece of crap!. Two days of use and the tuner fails sent back to dealer for a switcheroo get the replacement and after a month of use no power output. sent to icom 5 weeks later back. I quickly sold off this white elephant. My FT-817 is great in fact I have two of them now RX runs miles ahead of the icom as does TX audio. Using the W4RT cw filter I don't notice any filter blowby like the 703 had. Yes Yaesu has had some of the units lose the finals I figure that some of the guys just got to jack up the power and self distruct the finals. On the yahoo ft817 site there is a very simple no parts needed mod that is susposed to rid the stock units of any final problems. Best rig I have well without a doubt thats the elecraft K2 but then were not discussing that.
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W9DZ
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2004, 01:44:31 PM »

A note on the Universal Radio (Ohio) website indicates only the HF/6M version is available.  Looks like all the deep discounting was to move out the HF only model.

Allen, W9DZ
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OBSERVER11
Member

Posts: 657




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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2004, 12:54:19 AM »

having owned BOTH rigs, I find the IC-703 to be a superior radio.

The receiver is hotter.

The display can be read at all angles.

The control panel can be remoted, this is important if you like to tote your station in a back pack.

The IC-703 has a built in antenna tuner.

The FT-817 has built in battery pack that nearly unusable.

The IC-703 is 10W and those extra 5 watts do make a difference at times.

The FT-817 has VHF and UHF if you get bored on HF.
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W8LV
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Posts: 38


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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2004, 05:15:40 AM »

now if we could just get Yaesu to make a display that you can actually READ without a magnifying glass...

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K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2004, 02:03:11 PM »

Some of us can read the FT-817 just fine and find the buttons and knobs to be perfectly usable as well.  If you buy a truly tiny rig you are going to get a tiny display.  There's no way around that.

The FT-817 has to be the most versatile rig out there.  The IC-703... not so much.

72/73,
Caity
K7VO
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N6PEH
Member

Posts: 104




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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2004, 08:27:58 PM »

Also, the IC-703 has an internal antenna tuner, TCXO so there's no frequency drift, a memory keyer, built-in DSP, usable band scope.  The stock features far out-weigh the FT-817.  Plus this radio is about $225 cheaper than the 817.

Yes there is no V/UHF.
Yes some units need to have factory mods done to them, i.e., bias and keyer.

For what you're getting, this is a no-brainer.

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K7VO
Member

Posts: 1010




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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2004, 10:53:58 AM »

I agree with the last post.  It's a no-brainer.  The Yaesu FT-817 wins hands down.  

I wonder... have you ever owned an FT-817?  Drift?  What drift?  V/UHF, as in three more bands, is incredibly important to me.  I prefer a manual tuner (my Mizuho KX-QRP) which will tune just about anything and everything.  I use a straight key (doesn't consume power, BTW) and the DSP is unimpressive at best.

For me the FT-817 is a much better deal.  Note the key words here:  "for me".

One person's no brainer is another persons "no way!".  Sales figures seem to indicate that the Yaesu is the preferred rig of most.  Oh, and unlike the IC-703, it's reliable.

72/73,
Caity
K7VO
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N6PEH
Member

Posts: 104




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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2004, 11:23:16 AM »

Caity,
Do you like the Yaesu FT-817?  I'm not sure, it's hard to tell. :-)

What other radios do you have?

73,
Nils
N6PEH
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